On behalf of our Board of Directors and staff, I am pleased to provide this report on the activities of the Weingart Foundation for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007. The Foundation approved 418 grants that totaled approximately $58 million. A list of Foundation grants of $25,000 or more can be found by clicking here.
In addition to our responsive grant program, the Foundation continues to sponsor special grant initiatives in areas where our Board would like to achieve special impact. During fiscal year 2007, the Foundation approved grants as part of two new initiatives, Developmental Disabilities and Urban Public School Districts. The purpose of the Developmental Disabilities Initiative is to build the capacity of organizations serving people with developmental disabilities by significantly strengthening their leadership, capacity and scope. The goal of the Urban Public School Districts Initiative is to positively impact education by supporting sustainable reforms in urban public school districts. For a list of grants approved, please click on the initiative title. The Foundation also continues to support two other special focus grant programs, the Skid Row Homeless Healthcare Initiative, and the Gang Prevention and Intervention Initiative.
During FY2007, the Foundation also conducted a number of focus groups with grantees throughout our Southern California service area. The purpose of these meetings was to solicit anonymous feedback on the programs, policies, and procedures of the Foundation. Two things stood out among the many good suggestions we heard: grant guidelines should be made as clear as possible; and the Weingart Foundation should consider funding general operating support.
In order to make our grant making practices more responsive, we committed to thoughtfully considering all of the comments and suggestions we received during the focus groups. Based on our analysis of the information received, early next year, revised grant guidelines will be published. These guidelines will clearly identify the focus and priorities of the Foundation, the types of grants we support, and general funding ranges, in addition to instructions on how to make grant requests. The revised guidelines will also identify general operating support as an allowable grant activity.
Assets of the Foundation at June 30, 2007 were at $923,739,832, up from $839,604,506 the year before, after payment of almost $45 million in grants. Financial highlights of the Weingart Foundation for the fiscal year can be found by clicking here.
Finally, I want to thank the members of our Board of Directors and staff for their commitment and hard work. Of particular note, I want to recognize the outstanding leadership and dedication of Bill Schulte, our former Chairman, who retired from the Board on June 30, 2007. In addition, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the San Diego based Weingart-Price Fund, especially Mr. Sol Price (who was one of the founding Board members of the Weingart Foundation), for being our partner in the greater San Diego area.
On behalf of the entire Weingart Foundation, I also want to commend the excellent work of our grantees, whose collective efforts result in a better Southern California.
Steven L. Soboroff